Day Fourteen

London Travel Blog

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Tate Modern

Woke up early today and went to the Tate Modern. Why, oh why, did I go to a modern art museum when I despise modern art? Okay, despise may be a strong word... strongly dislike. I do genuinely like some modern artists--Dali, Pollock, Warhol. But a majority of modern art does not require the talent that Dali and Warhol (and kind of Pollock) have. In my opinion, a majority, though not all, of modern art falls under two distinct category, both equally disgusting and requiring absolutely no talent whatsoever. Besides the talent of bullshiting people into believing your piece of junk is art. 

1 A solid blue canvas/white canvas with green stripe/yellow triangualar canvas/fill in anything of your choice. This huge, minimalist canvas clearly represents the emotions of the artists, particularly the oceans of his despair following the death of his father in post-Revolutionary Russia circa 1952.

Tate Modern
He uses the blankness to represent the sadness and the one drop of yellow in the corner to represent the gold rush in California and the effects it had on his personal life. Riiiight...

2 This stick figure man with a mouth on his foot chomping on a purple palm tree made out of felt and feathers represents what it's like to live in a modern society where there's a pressure to maintain a positive body image while eating organically. There's a tension between the figure and the tree, representing the desire to seek out new types of food and the reservation of trying new things. Or basically, a crude, immature drawing that a three year old could do blindfolded. Or in other words a sloppy, nonsensical mess that doesn't even belong on my mom's fridge.

Bridge/St. Pauls

With this all being said, I come to a... piece of art... in the museum so moving, so inspiring, so incredibly modern, that I just had to write down its description in its entirety. And here it is, word for word. I couldn't make this up even if I tried.

In May 1961 Manzoni produced 90 cans of Artist's Shit, each meticulously numbered on the lid. Tate's work is number 004. A label, printed in Italian, English, French, and German, identifies the contents as 30g net freshly preserved excrement. Rather than simply leaving a trace of the artist's presence, like the vivid brushwork of an oil painting, Manzoni offers the viewer a real piece of himself. There is a lingering uncertainity as to whether or not the can does indeed contain Manzoni's feces, adding an additional level of irony to his subversive gesture.

Bridge/St. Pauls

So basically, we have shit in a can (or do we??? it's a mystery!!!). And it's called it art. That truly speaks for itself and the entire modern art movement.

Okay, moving on... the rest of my day was a complete waste. I thought I'd go to a park or do something in the afternoon but I wound up spending most of the day on the computer. I spent entirely too much writing a review of Avenue Q, which isn't even finished yet. It's the worst, too, because I know exactly what I want to say (I have very strong feelings about the show... that it was perfect in every single way) yet the words come out all mumbly jumbly. I can't translate the thoughts into words. Maybe tomorrow, with some fresh eyes, I'll be able to wrap it up.

So I watched Love Actually for the first time.

Southbank by Tate Modern
Not to sound like a thirteen year old girl, but... oh my god, it was SO good! Every British celebrity and his mom was in it and they were all great. Although it was weird to see Snape (from Harry Potter) not being Snape. Couldn't quite get that. But the little boy in the movie... so cute. And Tim from the British Office, so great. Everyone was awesome. Seriously I love love love it. (Okay, breathe.)

It was especially fun watching it in London (it's set here). There was a shot of the bridge by the Tate Modern and I was just there this morning. How cool is that?

I must say, the beginning of the movie really hit home for me. It talked about Heathrow Airport and basically how you're always in the presence of love there, be it families, girlfriends, boyfriends, friends reuniting.

Pink Chairs
There's lots of hugging, kissing, and general feelings of love. It's so true... which makes it absolutely dreadful to walk out that door after getting off the plane with a crowd of literally 100-150 people staring at you. Friends, families, hired cars, everyone peeking at you, wondering if you're the person they're looking for... and knowing that you're not.

It may be the greatest place to go if you want to see love, but it's also the worst place to go if you know you aren't going to experience any of your own.

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Tate Modern
Tate Modern
Tate Modern
Tate Modern
Bridge/St. Pauls
Bridge/St. Pauls
Bridge/St. Pauls
Bridge/St. Pauls
Southbank by Tate Modern
Southbank by Tate Modern
Pink Chairs
Pink Chairs
London
photo by: ulysses